Remodeling is stressful on everyone. But apparently the ante is upped when you’re a major luxury retailer, dealing with high-end labels. Saks Fifth Avenue is learning that the hard way. The department store in Manhattan has been undergoing a $250 million renovation, and in the process it has upset Cartier — to the point that the jeweler is suing Saks for a cool $40 million.
According to WWD, in 2016 Cartier renewed a five-year lease for a specific spot on the ground floor of Saks. However a year later Saks began renovating — including a massive plan to move its fine jewelry section to its lower level. In addition to claiming that debris from the construction caused “significant and continuous efforts to clean” and effected traffic and sales, the label also says that Saks tried to force it out of its location.
Saks declined to respond to WWD‘s request for comment on the lawsuit, instead responding: “We have reconceptualized the model of our Fifth Avenue flagship in a way that will revolutionize luxury shopping… In partnership with our many existing and new vendors, our grand renovation will deliver a one-of-a-kind experience to our customers through elevated and dominant category presentations in our reimagined store.”
Hopefully both parties will be able to sort this out soon.